Turkey ham

I’ve been buying turkey ham that comes in a 2-pound block. Since I’m the only one who eats it, I started freezing half. What I’ve noticed is that the ham that had been frozen and defrosted is saltier than the ham not frozen. What in the freezing/defrosting process makes it saltier?

Freezing causes cell damage and busted cells allow for more salt penetration into the meat. Whatever wasn’t susceptible to the brine before now can accept salt, so freezing sort of “super brines” the meat.

My mom uses freezing as a way to guarantee juicy turkey for Thanksgiving. She cooks it whole then strips off the meat and stores it in (salty) broth in the freezer for a day or two. It comes out very tender.

Nice for something that wasn’t previously salty but when you’re doing it with something that’s already salt-infused, I suspect it can be a little overpowering.

I’m thinking it’s more likely that your turkey ham is losing water to evaporation in the freezer (aka “freezer burn”, although it happens slowly and doesn’t always get to the greyish yucky stage) and leaving the salt behind. The net impact is a saltier slab o’ bird because it’s more saline than when it went in there.